An Honest Game? Convince Us.

It has been over two weeks since Rod McKenzie of Harper MacLeod was good enough to respond to our letter in our previous blog concerning documents withheld from the SPL lawyers charged with the commissioning of an Independent Enquiry into the incorrect registration of players with the SFA by Rangers F.C. 

His response, which was published on 14th March, fully explained the position of Harper Macleod with regard to side letters but the final para in the reply asked:

“Accordingly, I am not clear in what respects it is being suggested that the Commission was “misled” as regards any of the Specified Players in particular and/or in relation to the participation of Specified Players in EBT Payments and Arrangements in connection with the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust.

For the Commission to have been misled it would be necessary for it to have been induced into a false belief by the actions or inactions of a party and/or third party and for it to have relied on that false belief in coming to its various decisions.”

Since its publication on the previous blog there have been various comments by TSFM contributors that have looked at the full response as well as the final paragraph. Using those (and with the help of specialist input for which we are all grateful), our reply has been constructed and mailed to Mr McKenzie, and copied to the SPFL CEO and the members of the SPFL Board.

Whilst not the most entertaining prose ever to have appeared on TSFM, our reply is an exhaustive and comprehensive commentary of our views and conclusions, and takes the form of detailed responses highlighted in bold/italics to the issues mentioned in Mr McKenzie’s letter, together with a covering letter summarising those points and the conclusion they lead to.

What happens next is an opportunity for those in charge of Scottish Football’s to convince us that our game is indeed an honest one, honestly led. A game where honesty and integrity in all its forms take precedence over convenience, commercialism and dishonesty.

It represents a challenge not only to football authorities but to the silent Scottish main stream media to ask the questions that will set the record straight without fear or favour. Let’s have the truth and no more lies and concealment. Mistakes have been made, it is time they were admitted and explained. Maybe then, from a position of honesty, our game can move onwards and upwards, for it is our game, the supporters’ game.

The governors and media are but the custodians.

 

Harper MacLeod
The Ca’d’oro
45 Gordon Street
Glasgow G1 3PE

29 March 2014

Dear Mr Mackenzie

The Lord Nimmo Smith Inquiry (“the Inquiry”)

I refer to your letter received on 14th March in response to my letter which was posted to you on February 19, 2014.  I am very grateful to you and your client that you have been able to respond. 

I enclose with this letter comments and observations highlighted in bold/italics on the points raised in your letter with our references to the Decision in grey. The purpose of this letter is to summarize those comments and their importance.

The key issues that require to be addressed coming out of the Inquiry are as follows:-

(a)        the decision taken at some point between March 5, 2012 (when the Commission was announced) and August 2012 to restrict the scope of the Inquiry to matters arising only on or after November 23, 2000 and thus to exclude any matters in the period from July 1, 1998 to November 22, 2000 (“the Earlier Period”). I would understand the decision to restrict the scope of the Inquiry to have been taken as a result of the failure by the administrators of Oldco to provide necessary and key documentation relating to the Earlier Period.

(b)        the decision to treat the MGMRT and the earlier REBT (“the Earlier Trust”) as one and the same.   At para 35, the Decision states “we are not aware that they were different trusts”.  Given that the Decision (in the immediately prior sentence) states that the MGMRT had been “preceded” by the Earlier Trust, It is not easy to understand how the authors of the Decision can then state that they are “unaware” that they were different trusts. 

The decisions to (i) exclude the Earlier Period; and (ii) to treat both trusts as indivisible, had important consequences.

From the Decision (para 40), it would appear that the President of the SFA gave evidence only as to his knowledge of the MGMRT (not the Earlier Trust).  The annexes provided with my original letter, clearly show that the President had knowledge of the Earlier Trust (and indeed was active in its setting up).  I am obviously unaware of the extent to which the President was in fact examined on any issue relating to the Earlier Trust. 

It is stated in the Decision (at para 104) that the Inquiry proceeded on the basis that the EBT arrangements (by which it meant the use of the MGMRT) were “lawful”. It could do so (at least partly) as a result of the outcome of the FTT decision which was announced in November 2012.

Because the Inquiry treated the MGMRT and the Earlier Trust as one and the same, this meant that the Inquiry failed to distinguish between the two trusts and necessarily treated the Earlier Trust as also being lawful (without however having properly investigated its operation).  However, the MGMRT and the Earlier Trust were two separate trusts and there was no necessary reason to treat them as one and the same. Had evidence relating to the Earlier Period been produced and examined, the Inquiry could hardly have treated them as “the same trust”

By the time of the Inquiry, Oldco had already conceded liability in what has become known as “the Wee Tax Case” (which related to the Earlier Trust). Having regard to the wording at para 104 of the Decision (where it is said that to arrange financial affairs in a manner “within the law” is not a breach of the SFA/SPL Rules) the clear implication, must be that to arrange financial affairs in such a way that they are not lawful, is a breach of the rules.

Given the admission of liability in the Wee Tax Case, payments made in respect of the Earlier Trust were not “lawful” (to employ the language used in the Decision). 

It will be obvious from the above  that the importance of the Earlier Trust has been masked as a result of:-

(a) the failure by the administrators of Oldco to provide the documentation required of them;

(b) the decision to restrict the scope of the Inquiry; and

(c) the failure of the President of the SFA to provide to the Inquiry his own knowledge of, involvement in, and understanding of, the position relating to the Earlier Trust. 

Had the Earlier Trust been the sole subject of the Inquiry (rather than in effect not being examined at all) the following must have been different:-

(i)         the President could hardly have failed to give testimony of his knowledge and involvement;

(ii)        the Inquiry could not have held that the use of the Earlier Trust was lawful;

(iii)        given the clear history of deliberate non-disclosure by Oldco/its controllers, it is not easy to see how paragraph 107 (wherein it is stated that there is “no question of dishonesty”) can have remained;

(iv)        given the use of payment arrangements to employees that were not “lawful”, no other member clubs could have used such arrangements. This raises the issue of a “sporting advantage” having been obtained. 

In the circumstances, given the information now available to your clients, the Earlier Period cannot remain unexamined. There is no reason why such period should be excluded from any scrutiny.

The Decision requires to be revisited with the Earlier Period forming part of the Inquiry or alternatively, the Earlier Period should now be the subject of a separate inquiry.

This letter, a copy of which has also been sent by e-mail and comments will be published on our Scottish Football Monitor web site and a reply should be sent to our e mail address at (address supplied).  Copies have been sent to the SPFL CEO and SPFL Board members by e mail and/or hard copy.

Yours faithfully

TSFM

 

 

Dear Sir,

I confirm receipt of your undated letter, addressed to me and copied to Mr Doncaster which I have discussed with my client. I do not know your name or address or the position which you have with the TSFM and am unable to address you as other than ‘Sir’.

The SPL Commission Decision of 28 February 2013 (“the Decision”) deals, amongst other matters, with the failure by “Oldco” (as defined in the Decision) to provide relevant information at Issue 4 on page 33 of the Decision.

Whilst I was only able to secure and provide to the Commission copies of a number of the ‘side letters’ the list of those players who had received such letters was in the public domain and for the purposes of the ‘Issues’ before the Commission it was not suggested by Oldco or Newco that the fundamentals of the side letters were significantly different over the 10 years or so that Oldco had given such letters to each of the individual players involved.

Whilst the role of the side letters (or side agreements in HMRC terminology)  per se might fundamentally have been the same in terms of the ebt arrangements, there were two types of ebt involved in the specified period from 1 July 1998. It would appear from para 35 of the Decision that no evidence was led to distinguish between the two trusts even although the President of the SFA (one of the witnesses) clearly had that knowledge, having established the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust (REBT) and later been a beneficiary of the Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust. (MGMRT).  Equally Oldco had that knowledge.

The Commission was provided with evidence regarding the existence of both the Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust and the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust. This is referred to at paragraph 35 of the Decision. The Commission chose in its Decision to group these together as “MGMRT”.

Was the evidence provided the same as the evidence supplied with the TSFM letter of 19th February?

If it was the same evidence why was the fact that at least two players were involved in a type of scheme which was found by an FTT to be outside the rules (and so payments using it to be irregular and whose operation was described by HMRC as either fraudulent or negligent), not used to raise questions on which SPL rules were broken and why? At para 104 of the Decision it is stated that it is not

“ a breach of SPL or SFA rules for a club to arrange its affairs – within the law- so as to minimise its tax liabilities”

The payments to those two players were accepted by Oldco as having not been in conformity with the law. That would imply a very serious breach of Rules.

If the evidence provided on 19th February by TSFM was not supplied in March 2012, did the failure of Oldco or Newco to clarify at any time and especially when asked to provide documentation that would do so, not mislead the directions given to the SPL and so the terms of reference for the Independent Commission?

Both are referred to in the published accounts of Oldco and copies of those accounts were provided to the Commission.

Did the accounts provided to the Commission make a distinction between regular payments and irregular payments or give any indication that there was a difference between the schemes that would have led anyone to consider that they should not be treated as continuous?

“We note that the MGMRT was preceded by the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust, but we are not aware that they were different trusts.  We shall treat them as a continuous trust, which we shall refer to throughout as the MGMRT.” 

This seems a very odd decision. One trust is preceded by another trust and yet the Commission decided to treat them as one continuous trust.

If the documents accompanying the letter of 19th February, which were specifically requested in respect of ebts and any correspondence relating to them, had been provided to the SPL would Harper MacLeod still have advised the SPL in the way that they did, and would the terms of reference have remained as initially envisaged in the SPL announcement of 5th March 2012 i.e. starting from 1st July 1998?

I refer you to the Annex to the Decision which includes six lists of Specified Players, 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B. The numbering relates to 3 periods during which different regulatory regimes applied. The A reference is to players for whom we had a copy “side letter” and the B reference is to players for whom we did not have a copy of a side letter but in respect of whom there was other evidence that a side letter had been issued by Oldco. The Commission proceeded on the basis that with respect to the Issues the position of all of the Specified Players was the same except where specifically identified in the documents and other evidence.

The Commission was provided with copies of “side letters” relating to the players whose names appears in the A lists of Specified Players and whilst the Commission and I did not have copies of the side letters for those players whose names appear on the B lists, the evidence of side letters having been issued by Oldco to each of the players listed in the three groups of B Specified Players was also disclosed to the Commission.

At paragraph 36 of the Decision the Commission held that the same general arrangements applied in respect of all of the Specified Players whilst the details and precise form of the individual side letters varied over the years.

Since the involvement of Specified Players in EBT Payments and Arrangements with Oldco and the existence of side letters given to each of them was known to the Commission and included in the Decision it is not readily apparent what substantive new allegations with respect to the actions of Oldco in relation to EBT Payments and Arrangements under the earlier Rangers Employee Benefit Trust so far as relates to the Issues are now being made.

Your letter does not suggest that the scheme of the EBT Payments and Arrangements was different as between the first and second trusts and associated sub-trusts so far as concerns the player registration matters with which Issues 1, 2 & 3 were concerned.  The Commission does not suggest in the Decision that it determined the Issues before it on the basis that any of the Specified Players had not been part of EBT Payments and Arrangements during the period of their employment by Oldco and/or that one or more of them had not received a side letter from Oldco.

Accordingly, I am not clear in what respects it is being suggested that the Commission was “misled” as regards any of the Specified Players in particular and/or in relation to the participation of Specified Players in EBT Payments and Arrangements in connection with the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust.

For the Commission to have been misled it would be necessary for it to have been induced into a false belief by the actions or inactions of a party and/or third party and for it to have relied on that false belief in coming to its various decisions.

It is accepted that for the reasons given the missing side letter of 30 August for R De Boer is not of itself significant in the findings of the Commission as it was commissioned and that had it been supplied originally and the scope of the Commission been set to begin from 30 August rather than 23rd November, the Decision would have been the same.

However the information provided on 19th February shows that the failure of Duff and Phelps (who were of course at that point, the sole controllers of Oldco) to provide all the documentation requested and the subsequent failure of the investigation process to make a distinction between the irregular nature of payments in the REBT and the payments into the MGMRT that have been considered “regular”, suggests that the investigating team responsible for the commissioning itself were misled.

When the investigation was announced in March 2012 the SPL said

“The SPL Board has instructed an investigation into the alleged non-disclosure of payments made by or on behalf of Rangers FC to player s from 1st July 1998.”

It is clear from the Commissioning papers that Duff and Phelps were asked to provide all documentation relating to ebts (no distinction between REBT and MGMRT being made or indeed possible at that point) including any documents from HMRC. The information supplied on 19th February by TSFM contains documents after 1st July 1998 and before 23 Nov 2000 that relate to ebts and side letters/agreements, one of which was supplied but not apparently the other, as well as 

  • The genesis of the DOS scheme through the REBT for which Rangers accepted liability in March 2011,
  • Why that scheme involved an irregular means of payment; and
  • The reason why Rangers accepted that liability (i.e. exposure of deliberate concealment of the two side letters from HMRC when the latter specifically asked if they existed and of course from the SFA.)

 It will be obvious that Oldco’s involvements with EBTs has contained various episodes of non-disclosure of relevant facts to relevant authorities.

In the absence of any input to the contrary, the side letters and ebts were being treated as part of contracts for service which were not fully disclosed to the SPL/SFA. This meant that for registration purposes the ebts could be treated as the same or continuous. However the side letters/agreements are not the issue nor indeed the registration (or misregistration). The issue being raised is that two of the contracts for service, whilst involving misregistration, had an additional factor and that additional factor is that they were irregular in that they were not lawful.

The failure to provide the missing documents or any advice from those involved in the REBT/ DOS arrangement, caused the commissioning to focus on misregistration because the documents that would have altered that focus were not supplied by Duff and Phelps, whether by accident or design, when requested.

The significance and consequence of this can be found in The Decision when Lord Nimmo Smith himself said

4) The relevant SPL Rules were designed to promote sporting integrity, by mitigating the risk of irregular payments to players;

It follows therefore that if sporting integrity had been circumvented by an irregular means, then sporting advantage would accrue.

And then went on to conclude 

(5) Although the payments in this case were not themselves irregular and were not in breach of SPL or SFA Rules, the scale and extent of the proven contraventions of the disclosure rules require a substantial penalty to be imposed;

The documentation supplied clearly shows that two players were paid by an irregular method for which Rangers accepted responsibility in March 2011, a full year before the investigation into side letters and player registration began.

The rules that were broken in respect of irregular payments, the penalty for doing so and what to do about the failure of Duff and Phelps that misled the investigators needs to be reconsidered. It may be prudent to wait for the results of HMRC’s appeal to the UTT concerning the regularity or otherwise of payments made under the MGMRT before embarking on any premature decision regarding the “lawful/regular” nature of the REBT payments. You may wish to refer Duff and Phelps apparent failing to BDO the liquidators of RFC.

You will note that the Commission determined at paragraph [111] (1) that there had been breaches by Oldco with respect to all of Issues 1, 2 and 4 and in respect of most of 3. The excerpted parts of 3 are stated in the paragraph. The finding of breach extends to the Registrations with the SPL, as it then was, of all of the Specified Players; i.e. all of those for whom we had copy side letters and for those for whom we did not but in relation to whom it was known that side letters had been given by Oldco and that whether in respect of the first and/or second trusts.

The breaches in Issues 1 to 3 relate to non-disclosure of side letters/agreements and misregistration which were the focus of the commission because of the limited material provided.

However issue 4 for which an admonishment was given refers to

“Failure to respond timeously to legitimate requests for the provision of information is a serious breach of the rules.”

However what has been demonstrated in the evidence supplied with the letter of 19th February is not a failure to respond timeously but a failure to respond FULLY and that failure or inaction, for whatever reason, has produced a judgement which appears seriously flawed and undermines the legitimacy The Decision by the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission might lay claim to.                                                                                                                           

TSFM 28 March 2014

Trisidium

Trisidium

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

342 Comments
  1. John Clark


    Madbhoy24941 says:
    April 5, 2014 at 7:40 pm
    ‘…As my mum used to say (and she was never wrong), “2 wrongs don’t make a right”.’
    —————
    And your mum was, course, right.
    But a necessary corollary is that the first wrong should be admitted and put right!
    No legislators can expect to get away with selective application of a law to save one criminal, and then tightening up to prevent anybody else being advantaged. That is to move into a Nero-like governance mode of perversity and arbitrariness.
    By accommodating a new club and its bully-boy board and manager etc, the Football Authorities have not a shred of credibility when it comes to deciding how other new clubs who wish the same treatment are to be dealt with. A ‘newco’ Hearts( if that, God forbid, is what may happen) would have every moral justification for seeking the support of Doncaster et alii for admission into the top tier after a wee secret 5-way agreement, and bugger what the rules say.

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  2. woodstein

    woodstein


    Campbellsmoney

    PM

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  3. John Clark


    Barcabhoy says:
    April 5, 2014 at 9:26 pm
    ‘…MIH accounts now available
    1 Staggering losses of £144 million..’
    —————–
    Little did we know or suspect that we had a Charles Green prototype being worshipped among us for years,smiling happily as he fed sacrificial succulent lamb not only to sports journos but to the business community at large? The ‘Herald’s” business page has the headline ” Murray shifts focus to private interests”
    Says it all, really.

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  4. Barcabhoy

    Barcabhoy


    John Clark says:
    April 5, 2014 at 10:00 pm
    1 0 Rate This

    Barcabhoy says:
    April 5, 2014 at 9:26 pm
    ‘…MIH accounts now available
    1 Staggering losses of £144 million..’
    —————–
    Little did we know or suspect that we had a Charles Green prototype being worshipped among us for years,smiling happily as he fed sacrificial succulent lamb not only to sports journos but to the business community at large? The ‘Herald’s” business page has the headline ” Murray shifts focus to private interests”
    Says it all, really.

    ================

    John,

    The entire story of MIH and it’s banking relationships is worthy , in fact demands, a public enquiry.

    this is a business which racked up a debt of close to £1 Billion on assets which were ultimately valued in-house by an employee of MIH.

    Those assets were subsequently sold at enormous losses, which meant the debt was never fully repaid, or even close to it. The bank received effectively a few pennies in the £ on their debt, and this is a bank owned in significant part by the UK taxpayer. Tens of millions of completely unsupportable borrowing was funneled towards Rangers Football Club, to allow an egomaniac his moment in the spotlight.

    I don’t like much of what Rangers Football Club stood for. The employment policies were a national disgrace, but there are many many decent Rangers fans who’s club was killed by David Murray. He can bleat all he likes about being staggered by Craig Whyte’s actions and about being duped by him. But the Rangers fans I know blame Murray for what happened to their club.

    His “business empire” now has a going concern warning by it’s auditors, Murray himself has admitted its time is coming to an end. Yet he still has his knighthood, and thanks to the utterly shameful and craven behaviour of the SFA he hasn’t had to face an independent enquiry into his running of Rangers. He should on all available evidence be banned for life from the Sport. Publicly outed and appropriately punished. However we have the invisible man as CEO and the utterly weak and conflicted Campbell Ogilvie as President, so we know they won’t act voluntarily.

    However Karma has reached MIH, sad as that is for innocent employees, although fully deserved for Murray. He may think his running of Rangers and it’s consequences are in the past, and he has nothing to fear. He’s wrong…..in my view he will be fully exposed for what he did to Rangers and to Scottish Football.

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  5. Long Time Lurker

    Long Time Lurker


    Barcabhoy says:
    April 5, 2014 at 10:25 pm
    ——————————————-
    I tend to agree – it is unlikely that (S)DM will get away Scot free when MIH goes to the wall. It was his empire lock, stock and barrel.

    How much influence and loyalty will (S)DM retain, once MIH hits the skids? Will the old boys club close ranks, or will he be discarded?

    Then there is the UTTT? Will we get a decision that comments on the commercial reality of the loans [hopefully a ruling that recognizes that these were a sham]?

    The party’s over.

    Hopefully Scottish football will not get the chance to recover.

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  6. burghbhoy


    Campbellsmoney,

    Ive found your explanation of the incorporation process particularly interesting. Phrases such as the club “becomes” a company at incorporation would never raise an eyebrow in most other situations, but – for not the first time – everything is not what always what is seems when it comes to this sevco saga!

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  7. TSFM


    Castofthousands says:

    April 5, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve just discovered such a notice in my junk mail. It was from tsfm@tsfm.net.

    As you have not initiated these notices TSFM it implies that your security may have been compromised.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    No, it’s a malfunctioning plugin is all. Trying to fix as I write.

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  8. Donegaltim


    Are we witnessing the end of this absolutely rotten to the core business method of throwing buckets of cash at a business because of the relationships within a closed gentle men’s club. Money corrupts and of that there is no doubt and we have witnessed first hand, corruption of rules to suit one club.

    Murray should be publicly disgraced for the shame, hurt and embarrassment he has brought to bear on Scottish businesses, rangers included in this. The fans did not deserve what was foisted upon them. But I must stress that he wasn’t alone. We mustn’t allow these crooks with suits to walk away from the mess they have left. They must be held aloft to show what is wrong with the greed of the powerful businessman.

    Laws seem to be bent, twisted and broken to massage their ego. Relationships between high ranking officials of sport and business has been shown to be corrupt within the old boys network. If Hearts fall on Monday, the cabal at the top should hand in their resignation en masse as they have lorded it over the football world seemingly without a clue as to what their own rules were.

    From the shambles of the new club, the farce of CO retaining his position, to the position Hearts and many more find themselves in, anybody looking in from the outside would shake their heads in disbelieve. Close it down, force their hand, remove ill gotten baubles and search for fairness and dignity.

    It isn’t too much to ask at the end of the day.

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  9. FIFA


    As I posted yesterday that that the Murray group of figures where out ,I was hoping the bampots would take this up,thanks guys, , Mr Murray was selling of his companies and there was a trend developing,each year the high end companies where being sold off at what started at 130m gbp and so on ,the shares in RFC ,he was transfering into his sons name ,why ,who knows,but go back a few years [8] and follow the money.

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  10. HirsutePursuit


    burghbhoy says:
    April 5, 2014 at 11:09 pm
    0 0 Rate This

    Campbellsmoney,

    Ive found your explanation of the incorporation process particularly interesting. Phrases such as the club “becomes” a company at incorporation would never raise an eyebrow in most other situations, but – for not the first time – everything is not what always what is seems when it comes to this sevco saga!
    =====================================================================

    From the Memorandum of Association of the original The Rangers Football Club Ltd:

    We, the several persons whose names and addresses are subscribed, are desirous of being formed into a Company in pursuance of this Memorandum of Association, and we respectively agree to take the number of shares in the capital of the Company set opposite to our respective names.

    http://htmlimg3.scribdassets.com/3r0xd8p9ts2j0gyd/images/7-edfe08bdf4.jpg

    In their Articles of Association, it says:

    Each of the Members of the Rangers Football Club who has in terms of the Agreement referred to in the foregoing Article, had allotted to him a fully paid up £5 Proprietary share…

    http://htmlimg3.scribdassets.com/3r0xd8p9ts2j0gyd/images/8-2ce3cfe354.jpg

    So, the Club Members “formed into a Company” and each were allotted a “fully paid up £5 Proprietary share”.

    The members of the unincorporated association became members of the Company. Though the “Club’s” form changed, the members remained the same.

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  11. woodstein

    woodstein


    Campbellsmoney

    PM reply

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  12. Exiled Celt


    Here we go for the next sugar daddy……………

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/newcastle-owner-mike-ashley-plots-3380173

    Newcastle owner Mike Ashley plots move to buy Rangers and take them back to the Champions League

    Apr 05, 2014 23:00
    By Alan Nixon

    The controversial Toon owner could uses his billions to rescue the ailing Scottish giants and restore them to their former glories

    Great Scot: Is Mike Ashley set to go north of the border?

    Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is ready to buy Scottish giants Rangers and bring back their glory days, reports Alan Nixon in the Sunday People.

    The billionaire businessman, who already owns seven per cent of the Ibrox club, dreams of taking Rangers into the Champions League in the next two years.

    But the 49-year-old has no plans to offload Newcastle – bad news for Toon fans who are desperate to see the back of him.

    Yesterday members of the Mike Ashley Out Campaign held an open-top bus protest through the city centre before the game with Manchester United – they are fed up with Ashley’s stewardship of their club, claiming he runs it as a financial exercise rather than a sporting institution.

    Owning two clubs in the same competition is forbidden – which could give Ashley problems should both Toon and Rangers qualify for Europe.

    Ashley knows there is money to be made from the loyal Rangers supporters, as fanatical as Newcastle’s.

    For all their current financial problems, Rangers could still be a money-making machine in the right hands.

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  13. StevieBC

    StevieBC


    EXILED CELT says: April 6, 2014 at 1:31 am

    “…Rangers could still be a money-making machine…”
    ==============================================
    EC, I didn’t laugh at that post – it was more of a resigned groan. 🙁

    And who is this Alan Nixon? Is he an offspring of Keef Jackson?
    Similar, absolute bollox writing style…

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  14. TSFM


    Alan Nixon is an experienced, widely respected, and ordinarily very good newspaper and media man. At the peak of his career, he was head of Sport at Granada TV.
    He is also generally acclaimed as the inventor the fanzine movement with his wonderful JagsMag in the 70s (Thistle fans will no doubt have an opinion on that!).

    A much better journalist than a University Challenge panelist, he is often embarrassed to be reminded of his role – and absence of correct answers – in the Strathclyde Uni team’s savaging at the hands of Caius College in 1974.

    I suspect, whenever people refer to this fill-up-the-back-page piece, he will be only too pleased to draw attention to his part in the day a McEwans Export can’s journey ended abruptly as Bamber Gascoigne’s head got in the way 😳

    It should be noted that the University of Strathclyde’s reputation has since been rebuilt 😆

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  15. StevieBC

    StevieBC


    TSFM – thanks for sharing.

    And to be fair – writing style aside – anyone who has (allegedly) thrown a beer can at Bamber Gascoigne can’t be all bad. 🙄

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  16. Exiled Celt


    New post from Phil…….any idea who George Angus is anybody?

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/mr-george-angus-and-sevco/

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  17. TSFM


    Stevie
    You misunderstand. It was a Strathclyde supporter who chucked the can. Had Alan – or the other three on the team – done so, Bamber’s napper would have remained unscathed, given the catastrophic inability of the Strathclyde team to get anything right that day 🙂

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  18. wottpi


    Exiled Celt says:
    April 6, 2014 at 2:44 am

    New post from Phil…….any idea who George Angus is anybody?

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/mr-george-angus-and-sevco/
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Those names were floating around last year. – See below

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/164681674/Ibrox-Stadium

    Allyjambo also posted on Paul McConvilles site the same story that was doing the rounds on Gersnet and other Rangers forums,

    http://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/whatever-happened-to-the-rangers-egm-to-appoint-easdale-and-sack-murray-now-green-wants-one/comment-page-1/

    CEO Wallace could have saved himself some time if he checked what the Bampots ON BOTH SIDES were saying. 🙂

    To be fair maybe he realised what was going on from Day 1 but wanted to give himself time to ensure the required clear out of ‘the enemies within’ were all legal and above board.

    I posted before that there are probably a lot of people, even pre Green, who had their snouts in the Ibrox trough.
    Maybe we will see a whole load of people walking out the door when the results of the 120 day review are made public.
    Could actually be the case that the club is going to be taken by the scruff of the neck and sorted out?

    View Comment
  19. wottpi


    Re the George Angus
    Sons of Struth also saying on 3rd April rumours of Angus being escorted fro the premises on instructions from Nash.

    View Comment
  20. neepheid

    neepheid


    HirsutePursuit says:
    April 6, 2014 at 12:00 am

    So, the Club Members “formed into a Company” and each were allotted a “fully paid up £5 Proprietary share”.
    ============
    Now I hate to be pedantic (although according to Mrs Neepheid I just love it) , but that isn’t what the memorandum says. It is the subscribers who formed into a company. Those subscribers may, or may not, have been an identical set of individuals to the list of members of the club on the day the company was incorporated. I note that only 7 subscribers shares were issued. I do not believe for a moment that the club at that point had only 7 members, so I can reasonably assume that the subscribers are the members of the committee and not the whole membership.

    From the articles it is clear that there was a preceding agreement to issue a single share to each club member. I have no doubt that the first piece of business carried out by the new company was to fulfil that agreement by the issue of a share to each club member. But at the point of formation of the company, there was clearly no identity between the club membership and the company shareholders. And although there was an agreement that the company would issue a share to each club member, there is nothing to stop shares being issued to others as well. In fact that is envisaged in the Articles- “Each holder of shares of the company (proprietary or otherwise) up to the value of £15 – – -)

    Which simply reinforces the point made by Campbellsmoney. The company is not an “incorporation” of the club in any legal sense. The company is a completely separate legal entity.

    View Comment
  21. Danish Pastry


    Good debate on The Sunday Supplement on Sky.

    The subject was the Sunderland situation, points deductions, credibility of the EPL, and so on.

    The pundits were more or less unanimous in their view that rules should be rules. Turned out that in one instance the FA claimed have ‘silent’ — unwritten — rules, that allow them to make decisions on the hoof at their own discretion. Bottom line seems to be that the clubs only want the league body to be facilitators and not regulators.

    Very decent set of pundits and journalists who were not fed :slamb: before the show.

    View Comment
  22. HirsutePursuit


    neepheid says:
    April 6, 2014 at 8:34 am
    1 2 Rate This

    HirsutePursuit says:
    April 6, 2014 at 12:00 am

    So, the Club Members “formed into a Company” and each were allotted a “fully paid up £5 Proprietary share”.
    ============
    Now I hate to be pedantic (although according to Mrs Neepheid I just love it) , but that isn’t what the memorandum says. It is the subscribers who formed into a company. Those subscribers may, or may not, have been an identical set of individuals to the list of members of the club on the day the company was incorporated. I note that only 7 subscribers shares were issued. I do not believe for a moment that the club at that point had only 7 members, so I can reasonably assume that the subscribers are the members of the committee and not the whole membership.

    From the articles it is clear that there was a preceding agreement to issue a single share to each club member. I have no doubt that the first piece of business carried out by the new company was to fulfil that agreement by the issue of a share to each club member. But at the point of formation of the company, there was clearly no identity between the club membership and the company shareholders. And although there was an agreement that the company would issue a share to each club member, there is nothing to stop shares being issued to others as well. In fact that is envisaged in the Articles- “Each holder of shares of the company (proprietary or otherwise) up to the value of £15 – – -)

    Which simply reinforces the point made by Campbellsmoney. The company is not an “incorporation” of the club in any legal sense. The company is a completely separate legal entity.
    =======================================================
    Only if you equate “Club” with “unincorporated association”. As I said before, the word “club” has no legal meaning. Its meaning is given according to the context in which it is used.

    In my view, in the context of Scottish football, a club is a recognisable entity in either form. In the specific case of Rangers, each member of the unincorporated association was given a share in the new company.

    The members of a company are its shareholders – not its directors. At the point of “transfer” the members were the same, the assets were the same, the extant liabilities (presumably) were the same.

    To my mind, the business (club) was transferred as a going concern in what was effectively a form of solvent reconstruction/re-organisation. If the football authorities recognise this “transfer” as incorporation of the club – and it was allowed under the articles at the time, then in every sense, that is what happened.

    I repeat again, there is no legal definition of “Club”.

    View Comment
  23. Paulmac2


    Exiled Celt says:
    April 6, 2014 at 1:31 am
    ………………………………….
    The same person owning 2 separate clubs….that in theory could play each other in a UEFA competition…

    You will find that is in breach of FIFA/UEFA regulations…

    The new owner of Charlton Athletic has the same issue…he owns 3 other professional clubs…or should I say his wife and sons are listed as the other clubs owners…which is being investigated by UEFA..

    But once again no challenge by the SMSM to the Mike Ashley story even though there is an obvious conflict under UEFA/FIFA regulations…

    View Comment
  24. Angus1983


    Exiled Celt says:
    April 6, 2014 at 1:31 am

    “But the 49-year-old has no plans to offload Newcastle – bad news for Toon fans who are desperate to see the back of him.”
    ——

    Brings to mind a previous “saviour” who had previous involvement with an English team.

    Sheffield Utd fans were not enamoured with that particular gentleman, yet their warnings went unheeded.

    View Comment
  25. FIFA


    Notifications on Murray International Holdings
    1] Change in the companies Risk score
    2]Change in the companies Credit score
    I wonder who their bankers are now.

    View Comment
  26. burghbhoy


    HirsutePursuit says:
    April 6, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I think you are right that, in common speech, incorporation re. fitba does see the club “become” a company in the sense that everything the club did/was comprised of, people/property/purpose/business, team in competitions etc… does continue as was albeit with a organisation re-jig.

    However, in terms of the “legal entity” that is a particular company, that owns X, is contracted to pay Y, receives a transfer of membership to undertake Z – there is no doubt that legal entity is new – IT did not exist prior to incorporation.

    Otherwise, if it was the same entity just with a different status awarded to it, there would be no need for it to have assets/property transferred to it, or for it to acquire membership of the football association, recruit shareholders etc.

    View Comment
  27. John Clark


    Barcabhoy says:
    April 5, 2014 at 10:25 pm
    ‘……in my view he will be fully exposed for what he did to Rangers and to Scottish Football.’
    Donegaltim says:
    April 5, 2014 at 11:40 pm
    ‘…..Murray should be publicly disgraced for the shame, hurt and embarrassment he has brought .’
    ——————-
    The push has to come from somewhere within the existing systems- it took a while for ‘Fred the Shred’ to be called thoroughly to account-and that was only because too many others of his like began to be afraid for themselves.
    How can we get, say, the National Audit office, or even Audit Scotland to look at the tax-payers’ losses occasioned seemingly by at least incompetent if not complicit bankers in the context of an overly close relationship with a big borrower?
    Anyone with any special expertise?

    View Comment
  28. John Clark


    TSFM says:
    April 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm
    ‘…..No, it’s a malfunctioning plugin is all. Trying to fix as I write.’
    —————-
    Even though I had seen this message, I still got a wee shock when I saw not one, but two ‘banning’ messages in my blog email address! Gave me quite a turn.
    Anyway, I was going in to that address to change my linkedline password, because I wanted to scout around for the ‘George Angus’ . But I see others have been doing the same, because the George Angus entry I’m looking at has been looked at by somebody who also looked up Stockbridge!
    The Angus I’m looking at is Ayrshire based and has to do with caravan sites and such like ‘leisure’ business.
    Is this the guy who is allegedly being escorted off the premises?
    ( I’m interested because I may have current dealings of a sort with his company)

    View Comment
  29. spanishcelt


    Exiled Celt says:

    April 6, 2014 at 2:44 am

    New post from Phil…….any idea who George Angus is anybody?
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Extract from a post in Rangers rumours in august 2013,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ”according to Mr George Angus (cost consultant from active corporate) the company is haemorrhaging money at an alarming rate!”

    View Comment
  30. Resin_lab_dog


    Exiled Celt says:
    April 6, 2014 at 2:44 am

    11

    0

    Rate This

    New post from Phil…….any idea who George Angus is anybody?

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/mr-george-angus-and-sevco/

    ________________________________________________

    Main Hypothesis 1 (as cited by others above):

    George Angus was CG placeman and his removal is a sign of major shake up and TRFC finally entering the sordid world of professional management by financially astute individuals. In which case expect more bloodletting soon.

    Alternate hypothesis:
    Could it be George Angus that was leaking high levek information to PMG, and has he been rumbled, and taken outside for a cigarette in the sunshine?

    Third hypothesis:

    All of the above.
    I guess we will know soon enough!

    View Comment
  31. Resin_lab_dog


    StevieBC says:
    April 6, 2014 at 2:01 am

    26

    2

    Rate This

    EXILED CELT says: April 6, 2014 at 1:31 am

    “…Rangers could still be a money-making machine…”

    ___________________________________________

    …for spivs.
    Clearly true. Milk the bears, syphon off the assets. Ker ching!

    View Comment
  32. tomtom


    FIFA says:
    April 6, 2014 at 10:53 am
    6 0 Rate This

    Notifications on Murray International Holdings
    1] Change in the companies Risk score
    2]Change in the companies Credit score
    I wonder who their bankers are now.
    ========================

    Probably their owners 🙄

    View Comment
  33. Kicker Conspiracy


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/scottish-league-cup/10743317/Raith-Rovers-recall-Bayern-Munich-clash-as-they-face-Rangers-in-Ramsden-Cup-final.html

    “Raith may not actually exist as a place”
    “the geographical location of Raith is – well, a wraith”

    Really?

    http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=324825&Y=692155&A=Y&Z=120

    The estate has existed for about 300 years. Where does he think the club got its name?

    View Comment
  34. TSFM


    New podcast published. Move to new thread please.

    View Comment
  35. TSFM


    Kicker Conspiracy says:

    April 6, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    “Raith may not actually exist as a place”
    “the geographical location of Raith is – well, a wraith”

    Really?

    http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=324825&Y=692155&A=Y&Z=120

    The estate has existed for about 300 years. Where does he think the club got its name?
    ___________________________________________________________

    Every day is a school day 😆

    View Comment
  36. theoldcourse


    I do hope it still exists as I’ve lived there for the last twenty odd years 🙂

    View Comment
  37. enough is enough


    “Despite the pain of the defeat the popular former Question of Sport skipper took some comfort from the fact that the defeat came in extra-time maintaining his side’s unbeaten record for the season over 90 minutes.”

    So that’s alright …… then

    View Comment
  38. Night Terror


    Glad to see that Streets Of Raith myth scotched. Again.

    I’m sure that’s the last we’ll ever hear of it.

    View Comment
  39. Night Terror


    Interesting Low podcast, TSFM. Didn’t agree with him on his idea of the future of Celtic, “The Rangers” and by extension Scottish football, but it was good to hear someone with credible knowledge of the Scottish game speak so forthrightly.

    View Comment
  40. Night Terror


    Good points put by whoever the TSFM interviewer was to Low re only Celtic being disadvantaged by the Ibrox Club’s absence from the top division. Not impressed by the way Low dealt with it, and amusing to hear him invoke the “Irish League” threat. Did the interview take place before “cataclysmic” became the go to phrase to scare away anyone contemplating a change to the status quo?

    View Comment
  41. Night Terror


    Final thought (until I think of another one) on the Low interview – he committed the cardinal sin of using the phrase “diddy club” in a non ironic way, from the position of supporting a big club.

    View Comment
  42. Massive support from Clumpany Towers, which I know will be echoed everywhere. https://t.co/DYGVxqksu1

    "The words Jackson chose to write today could be potentially damaging to a very small charity like ours"

    https://t.co/9EAQs8CBNt

    50 Years Ago Today: Jinky sees red as poor run continues 23rd September 1967: Celtic v St Johnstone – League https://t.co/IUAcIl73XI

    In hide and seek terms, they have some way to go to beat your lack of comment on BTC outcome & whether there should be an independent review https://t.co/s5SPou4MFD

    Please share folks, especially with those who still don't get it.

    https://t.co/yLFe1ncPfQ

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